A few months back some friends of mine made me very angry. I felt like a lump had been stuck in my chest. I can’t remember the last time I felt this angry. Strangers can never reach this deep. It’s like they had a fork and they used it scratch the bottom of my heart. I wanted to die. I couldn’t imagine I could ever feel such hate and resentment at the same time.
I wanted them to call me, to text me and tell me how sorry they are. I wanted them to understand the pain they caused. How the words they spoke reached down to my ego and trampled on it. How worthless I felt because of the words they said. Yes my friends. My closest of friends. These are the guys who would be the first to know if I would ever make any BIG life changing decision.
So here I am crying out to God asking him to make these feelings of hate disappear. 12:06 am, and I am seated on the couch. The couch feels as cold as my heart. I tell God the same words over and over, “Take this pain away”. I can’t imagine waking up feeling the same way. I then decide, “You know what Vaneyck? You can’t live like this. I am going to bed and I am going to sleep. I will forget about all this. I will wake up as if nothing happened.”
Toss and turning is all I can do. I can’t sleep. Music!!!! Daaah… That will fix this. Lying in bed, I place my phone next to me and start playing some “Shane and Shane”. 1:05 am and I am still awake. I am hungry. Did I mention that I couldn’t eat. Mostly because I was so full of anger. I guess I didn’t have the stomach to deal with my issues.
Then I realised, what if my friends never apologize? What then? For a long time this bothered me. I have always felt that the only way I can move forward and get closure is when those who have wronged me, apologize. The conversation would probably go like this.
Person : I am so sorry for what I did and making you feel this and that way.
Me : It’s okay. I forgive you. I understand.
But the truth is, most of the time, this is not how things turn out. Most times those who have caused us pain are completely unaware of what they did.
Forgiveness is never deserved. You either give it or you don’t.
It’s been hard learning this lesson. It’s been so hard to chose to forget what has happened in the past. To let go of my right to get even. To pray for those who have wronged me and desire the best for them. It’s been hard. Really hard. I bet we all know how we react towards people who have wronged us. I personally lock out those people out of my life and generally maintain an attitude of distrust when I am around them. I keep my guard up and keep a count of what, when and how they did what they did.
But God forgave us when we did not deserve to be forgiven. God set an example for me and everyone else. God has forgiven me of us such a great deal of sins. Sins I haven’t even yet committed. The price for the “small” sin and the “big” sin is death, eternal separation from God. But through God’s forgiveness this punishment has been lifted from me and now I can commune with God without any inhibitions.
It’s been a big struggle to write this. Every time I review this post, I feel as if I haven’t truly forgiven my friends. A big part of me wants to get even. I want to make them feel what I felt. But I know too well, doing wrong never makes anything right. Sin always breeds painful consequences. Failing to forgive only brings forth more painful experiences. So I fight to love. When I am tempted to hold resentful thoughts and feelings towards anyone, I need to look to Jesus who had the right to hold an ocean full of resentful feelings but instead said , “Father forgive them for they know not what they are doing”. Jesus sets an example for us to follow yet again. Jesus chose to go ahead with the greatest possible display of love for humanity. The humanity that wanted to kill him. But as they killed him Jesus reciprocated with a life giving act. He died so that if we believe and trust in Him as Saviour, we would then live.
But as they killed him Jesus reciprocated with a life giving act.
Whenever I am faced with the urge to be resentful, I know I need to look to Jesus and seek His guidance and strength on how I should then act in love. Surely